At Knox, the educational experience means being part of a community of individuals who challenge each other to explore, understand, and improve their world. That mission calls on a special sort of scholar-teacher, one who approaches the classroom, the College, and the community in a uniquely engaged way.
Our faculty are top scholars -- 97% of our full-time faculty have Ph.D.s or the highest degree in their field. They are active scholars with frequent work in leading academic publications and showcases of artistic and theatrical work in venues around the world. And they represent a wide range of academic disciplines, educational backgrounds, and cultural experiences.
Among the recent accomplishments of Knox faculty:
- Jeremy Day-O'Connell, Assistant Professor of Music, received a Fulbright grant for study at the University of Edinburgh, where he will join a world-class linguistics program and state-of-the-art phonology laboratory.
- Karen Kampwirth ‘86, Professor of Political Science, received a Fulbright grant that will take her to The University of Buenos Aires, where she will teach and conduct research on feminism and anti-feminism as part of a comparative study of Nicaragua and Argentina.
- Mat Ryohei Matsuda, Associate Professor of Asian Studies-Japanese received a grant from the Associated Colleges of the Midwest/Great Lakes Colleges Association to study how Japanese educators are now adapting American ideas to their system of higher education.
- Michael Schneider, Professor, History, received a grant from the Association of Asian Studies to support his winter/spring 2009 sabbatical research in Japan.
- Bruce Polay, Professor of Music and Artistic Director/Conductor, Knox-Galesburg Symphony, received a 2008-2009 ASCAPlus award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, NY.
Just as important as their scholarly achievements and diverse backgrounds is how Knox professors bring all of that into the classroom. Our faculty make the classroom a forum for a shared pursuit of knowledge, a vibrant place for exploration and debate. You'll not only learn from your professors, you'll learn with them.
Walk into any class on campus and you'll find professors -- not graduate students -- leading discussions. A Knox class is small -- average size is 17 students -- and it is anything but a passive one-way lecture or note-taking session. Our faculty are not shy about letting students know their own point of view on a subject; but they also expect-and assist-students to form and defend their own opinions and viewpoints in a wide range of coursework. They challenge assumptions and teach students to be independent thinkers.
At Knox students and teachers work closely together on in-depth and on-going research:
- Senior Brittany Leggans explored the phenomenon of organic farming around the world and its relationship to food security. Funding for her project came from a Ford Fellowship grant and a Charles and Arvilla Timme Fellowship Award.
- Senior economics major Sam Flanders worked with economics professor Carol Scotton to investigate the incidence of workplace fatalities by occupation and industry, and how perceptions differ on how dangerous certain workplaces are.
- Computer science and mathematics major Chris Johnson partnered with assistant professor of computer science David Bunde to find ways to unblock computer processor traffic jams on supercomputers.
- Senior Andy Arnold conducted research on rats to shed light on the role of a particular part of the brain involved in cravings and addiction.
Our faculty don't hide away in their offices. Their doors are open to work closely with students throughout their educational careers. Through one-on-one mentoring, professors help students plan their studies and even design their own majors and research projects.
At Knox, we never forget that life is about more than the books. Our faculty do more -- and breathe more -- than merely publish. They live in the community. And you'll find them cheering on the Prairie Fire athletic teams, playing on intramural sports teams, discussing current events at the dining hall, or enjoying jazz music with fellow faculty and students at a downtown club - or even performing on-stage.
By being engaged scholars, Knox faculty instill a lifelong love of learning in their students and impart to them the skills and the drive to apply their education to their career, their community and their world.